A major major part of our students' lives and learning is focused on what they are doing outside of the classroom, from interacting with their homestay families to volunteering with local organizations.
Students at NSA are able to propose and form their own clubs based on their interests and passions. These clubs meet weekly, and often create after school or weekend opportunities. Current student-created opportunities include Biking, Rock Climbing, Surfing, Art, Chess, Spanish, and Cooking Clubs.
Sundays for newer students are dedicated to immersion in the Costa Rican culture through activities that tie in to their Spanish language classes. Each week may find students visiting a coffee farm, exploring museums, hiking through a national park, or floating down the river on a crocodile tour.
For students who have completed the Cultural Immersion program and have advanced to a communicative level in their Spanish classes, Sundays are spent with a Costa Rican homestay family.
These local families take our students into their homes where they can join in on soccer games, family barbecues, birthday parties and, of course, delicious home cooking.
NSA students have many opportunities to give back to the community that hosts our school, including working with turtle conservation organizations, participating in beach clean-ups, animal rescue fundraising, and planting trees for water conservation.
Our most frequent opportunity and most rewarding experience comes from our students’ volunteer work with Hogar de Vida, our neighboring children’s home. Weekly volunteer opportunities and frequent NSA-hosted parties and events ensure that our students develop meaningful relationships with the children and staff.
Fun is a crucial part of being a student at NSA. Students plan their own recreational activities, working with their Student Council and our Experiential Education team.
Weekend excursions can include beach days, trips to the movies, bowling and laser tag. NSA students also organize game nights and BBQs on campus.
After a rigorous school semester, students and staff are ready for some fun and relaxation, and the recreational Aventura delivered!
Students traveled to Manuel Antonio National Park and spent their days swimming in the ocean, hiking to spectacular waterfalls, playing soccer on the wide beaches, and exploring the park, one of the most beautiful in Costa Rica. Students returned to campus ready for their next adventure: Peru!
Soccer. Cooking. Birthday Parties. Barbecues. Our students have the unique opportunity to participate in these activities and much more with their beloved Costa Rican homestay families.
Each family, carefully selected to match student interests and personalities, opens their home to one of our students every Sunday and shares their lives and culture with them.
To thank them, NSA hosted our always-anticipated homestay family picnic this past week, which included an impressive karaoke contest, delicious lunch, and the ever-popular bingo tournament. Many thanks to our Atenas community for providing our students with a home away from home!
Pursuing healthy passions is an important part to living a full, balanced life, and our Clubs enable our students to advocate for their particular interests in that pursuit. Any student can start a Club with enough interest and by passing a proposal with the Experiential Education team. Once a Club is approved, student and staff leaders facilitate a quarterly Club Fair for student sign-ups.
This quarter’s Clubs include Cooking, Gardening, Chess, Comic Books, Biking, Climbing, Music Makers, and Backcountry Skills.
Clubs then collaborate to organize and schedule weekly meetings and weekend outings, developing student advocacy, organization and follow through while having fun!
The next two weeks are exciting ones for our students, families and staff of NSA! Newer students will be off adventuring and relaxing in the untouched forests of Sarapiqui and on the shores of Lake Arenal. They will be spending the week zip-lining, playing soccer, stand-up paddle boarding and horseback riding in some of the most beautiful areas of the country.
Another group of students will be traveling to South Africa for two weeks of impactful cultural immersion and community building.
Next week, our students and staff will be hard at work studying and applying their learning hands-on in their efforts to earn their Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) and CPR certifications. Stay tuned for stories and photos from these upcoming activities!
This month, our community of New Summit Academy proudly celebrated 13 YEARS of working together to fulfill our mission of nurturing students to become more relationship-based, goal-driven, resourceful global citizens.
To commemorate this exciting milestone, we would like to share some student testimonials from these amazing times. We hope you enjoy!
Many of NSA’s students returned home to celebrate the winter holidays with family and friends. Those who remained in Costa Rica celebrated with their New Summit Academy family and friends, enjoying the natural beauty of the country while having loads of fun participating in recreational activities.
These are just some of outdoor adventures our students engaged in over the holiday break:
- Hiking among the geysers and mud pots of Rincon de la Vieja National Park
- Horseback riding in the tropical dry forests of Guanacaste Province
- Spending time surfing and relaxing at the beach
- Swimming in the spectacular blue waters of the Rio Celeste
Happy Holidays and Feliz Año Nuevo to our entire New Summit Academy Community!
No other high school teaches Spanish quite like New Summit Academy! Our talented Spanish teachers, Daisy and Vianney, have worked to develop a truly unique Spanish Language program, which overlays grammatical learning objectives onto our yearly Cultural Immersion calendar.
This allows students to master Spanish grammar by studying and preparing for upcoming Cultural Immersion activities, making both their language acquisition and their cultural engagement that much richer.
Last week, students in all levels of Spanish learned about Costa Rica’s Bosque Eterno de Los Niños, Costa Rica’s largest private nature reserve, which was founded with donations made by children from 44 different nations. After learning the history of the park and relevant language skills, students spent Sunday hiking the trails and putting their new Spanish into practice!
Students continue to develop critical self-advocacy and organizational skills by being in charge of clubs and club outings at NSA.
Last month, students organized a 10k race for members of the Running Club, while the Climbing Club practiced their technical skills at an indoor rock climbing gym.
Other student clubs successfully planned day trips to a skate park in San Jose as well as Playa Esterillos for some epic surfing.
By organizing and participating in club outings in their areas of interest, students continue to develop healthy lifestyles, ownership of their processes, and an understanding that sometimes we need to put in some work to have some fun!
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!